Departmental Papers (Dental)

Document Type

Journal Article

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Publication Source

Journal of Clinical Periodontology





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To characterize the histologic and cellular response to A. actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) infection.

Material & Methods

Wistar rats infected with Aa were evaluated for antibody response, oral Aa colonization, loss of attachment, PMN recruitment, TNF‐α in the junctional epithelium and connective tissue, osteoclasts and adaptive immune response in local lymph nodes at baseline and 4, 5 or 6 weeks after infection. Some groups were given antibacterial treatment at 4 weeks.


An antibody response against Aa occurred within 4 weeks of infection, and 78% of inoculated rats had detectable Aa in the oral cavity (p < 0.05). Aa infection significantly increased loss of attachment that was reversed by antibacterial treatment (p < 0.05). TNF‐α expression in the junctional epithelium followed the same pattern. Aa stimulated high osteoclast formation and TNF‐α expression in the connective tissue (p < 0.05). PMN recruitment significantly increased after Aa infection (p < 0.05). Aa also increased the number of CD8+ T cells (p < 0.05), but not CD4+ T cells or regulatory T cells (Tregs) (p > 0.05).


Aa infection stimulated a local response that increased numbers of PMNs and TNF‐α expression in the junctional epithelium and loss of attachment. Both TNF‐α expression in JE and loss of attachment was reversed by antibiotic treatment. Aa infection also increased TNF‐α in the connective tissue, osteoclast numbers and CD8+ T cells in lymph nodes. The results link Aa infection with important characteristics of periodontal destruction.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: De Brito Bezerra, B., Andriankaja, O., Kang, J., Pacios, S., Bae, H. J., Li, Y., … Graves, D. T. (2012). A.actinomycetemcomitans-induced periodontal disease promotes systemic and local responses in rat periodontium. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 39(4), 333–341., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving [].


a.actinomycetemcomitans, periodontal disease, bone resorption, host-pathogen interactions, disease models, animals

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Dentistry Commons



Date Posted: 10 August 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.